Athletes Compete in First eSports Championship
"You can't just say that any person who sits and plays computer games all day is an e-athlete. It's not correct. They're a gamer."
Dnipro — A team of e-athletes from the city of Kherson are working on their strategy. They must decide who will take which role and what their route to victory will look like. They are preparing for their first virtual match at the Ukrainian E-sports Championship Grand Final.
“A lot will depend on how we distribute our roles, our spots on the map, our role in the game, and who plays in what position. Now, we’re discussing who will move which way,” Andriy Valchuk, e-sport participant, said.
The complexity of esports strategies is similar to chess. The team is hoping to win the championship. A team openly held a meeting during the event as the draft stage decides how the game will go.
Another stage of the competition is Counter-Strike. Here, participants need to be as attentive and fast as possible. The game is closely watched by judges. They say that the rules are as strict as in real sports.
One judge, Vladyslav Forostian, explained how they ensure integrity in the final, “We’re watching the game to make sure that participants don’t look into each other’s screens, that the audience doesn’t give them tips, and that they’re not receiving text messages. This makes sure that the game is fair.
Organizers said Esports are becoming more and more popular among Ukrainians, organizers say. The Ukrainian Esports Federation was founded last summer.
Artur Yermolayev is the president of the Federation. He makes a distinct between gamers and e-athletes. “You can’t just say that any person who sits and plays computer games all day is an e-athlete. It’s not correct. They’re a gamer. And a person who’s constantly searching for new tactics and strategies, chooses teammates, practices with opponents, participates in tournaments, loses tournaments, looks for mistakes, and finds solutions for them is an e-athlete.”
This is the first time that an esports championship grand final is held in Ukraine. The selection of players lasted for more than six months across the entire country. In the end, 52 teams entered the final, each consisting of five members.
Bohdan Danyliuk came from Ivano-Frankivsk. He says he had to fight hard to take part in the final. “I would say that the competition was huge. We had around 16 teams in our region. We played from 10 am until 3 am. We had to work hard for it. We came here and we’re preparing to continue winning,” Danyliuk said.
The cash prize of the grand final is one million hryvnias, almost 42 thousand US dollars. The money will be distributed among six teams who take the top three places in two themes. The champions will receive 250 thousand hryvnias each, about 10 and a half thousand US dollars.